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Journal of the North Atlantic
2018 Special Volume 7
The larger project that has resulted in this issue of Journal of the North Atlantic has a long history of startup,
research and development, and closure. The project began in 1999 when Tom McGovern invited me to a
North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) meeting in Akureyri, Iceland. I spoke about the potential
for isotopic proveniencing in the study of past human mobility and was introduced to Hildur Gestsdóttir, a
bioarchaeologist in Iceland. Hildur and I collaborated on a pilot study of early Icelandic burials using funding
from an NSF Archaeology program grant. The results of that investigation were published in the journal
Antiquity in 2006. A larger program of research involving human remains from Greenland, the Faroe Islands,
and Britain and Ireland, was developed and submitted for funding to the Arctic Social Sciences Program at NSF
and awarded in 2006.
Anna Kertula de Echave, director of the Arctic Social Sciences Program at NSF, has played a major role
in this research as advisor, supporter, and inspiring colleague. Her cheerful positivism has provided enormous
momentum for this research. Anna was also able to find funding for a 2-day conference titled A Molecular View
of Colonization: The Norse Settlement of the North Atlantic. This conference was intended as a summary of the
research project and the basis for this issue of the Journal of the North Atlantic.
This conference was held at the Carlsberg Akademiet, Copenhagen, Denmark, in the spring of 2011. A
group of 25 scholars from 7 nations presented and discussed the historical, genetic, archaeological, and isotopic
evidence for the Norse expansion to Britain and Ireland, the Orkneys and Shetlands, the Faroes, Iceland,
and Greenland in the period between AD 700 and 1000. The group included archaeologists, archaeometrists,
geneticists, geologists, historians, physical anthropologists, and a physicist focusing on a common question. A
total of eight students attended the conference to learn more about their area of interest.
There are a number of other individuals that must be acknowledged and thanked for their role in this research
and publication. My co-authors on various papers in this issue were instrumental in the research that took place
and provided a great forum for evaluating the results. Specifically I would recognize Hildur, Elise Naumann,
and Karin Frei for their contributions. Collaborations with Jette Arneborg were particularly rewarding given
her knowledge of the Vikings on Greenland and her warm support. Jette was also one of the manuscript editors
among a group that included James Barrett, Seth Brewington, James Burton, Andrew Chamberlain, Kevin Edwards,
Jane Evans, Vaughan Grimes, Jan Heinemeier, Kelly Knudson, Jason Laffoon, Niels Lynnerup, Janet
Montgomery, Michael Richards, Paul Szpak, and Orri Vesteinsson.
The manuscript editors, following the protocol of the Journal of the North Atlantic, were responsible
for the review and revision of the individual papers in this issue. That is not an easy undertaking, and their
efforts should be recognized with applause. Thanks also to the participants in the conference and/or contributors
to this issue that include Simun Arge, Philipa Asgough, Jane Evans, Gisele Grupe, Jan Heinemeier,
Judith Jesch, Corina Knipper, Niels Lynnerup, Janet Montgomery, Else Roesdahl, Hannes Schroeder, Berit
Sellevold, and Orri Vesteinsson. Thanks are due of course to the anonymous reviewers who contributed their
time and knowledge to improve the quality and accuracy of the papers. Finally, my sincere appreciation for
the abilities and the patience of the staff of the Journal of the North Atlantic in organizing, reviewing, and
preparing the contents of this issue for publication and to Publisher Joerg-Henner Lotze for his support and
efforts for projects such as this.
T. Douglas Price
Viking Settlers of the North Atlantic: An Isotopic Approach
2014–2018 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 7